The Theatre of His Grace

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By John Thiel

We are to remind ourselves why we are in the church and why we should be part of a church. Why we are going through the experiences we are going through in all our various circumstances? What is happening to me? What is happening to us? Before we became connected with the church many of us had a carefree life of enjoyment. We didn’t pay so much attention to the things we did wrong because we didn’t even know how wrong we were.

The church is the theater of his grace, in which he delights in making experiments of mercy on human hearts. The Holy Spirit is his representative, and it works to effect transformations so wonderful that angels look upon them with astonishment and joy. Heaven is full of rejoicing when the members of the human family are seen to be full of compassion for one another, loving one another as Christ has loved them. The church is God’s fortress, his city of refuge, which he holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of her sacred trust is treachery to him who has bought her with the precious blood of his only begotten Son. {PH154 18.2}

We are reminded that the church is the theatre of his grace or the operating theatre, his hospital in which he delights in making experiments on human hearts.

The Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. The angels of God . . . look on with astonishment and joy, that fallen men, once children of wrath, are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine similitude, to be sons and daughters of God, to act an important part in the occupations and pleasures of heaven. {HP 282.2}

In Gods church we are all being operated on and a transformation is taking place which means what I have been, I’m going to change from that to something else. If we don’t give God the privilege and the freedom to do this work on us, we disqualify ourselves from being in Gods church. In Gods church we see people who are imperfect being changed. If we hang on to things of the past which the Lord is changing, we are doing despite to the Holy Spirit. We are in Gods church to be operated on. None of us have come from a perfect background. We are sinners, maggots.

The church is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to make experiments of mercy on human hearts. {OHC 172.2}

While all the world is under the care of God, and angels are commissioned to do service in all parts of it, yet the church is the special object of God’s love and care. In the church, he is making experiments of mercy and love, and drawing men to himself. {RH, December 19, 1893 par. 11}

If God is making experiments of mercy upon us, should we be unmerciful with each other? Think about this. Have you ever been overwhelmed in the church by really strange behaviour of the activities of people in the church? It has come to my ears many times; these people are doing worse than people in the world. In the world they treat each other better than this. Have you observed those people that come into the church who appear not bad but nice people and then you observe after a period of time, we have a real bag of problems here.

At first you think, wonderful, new people coming in and then you wonder if they should have come in the first place. Or do you remember when you first came in, the people loved each other and you thought I want to be part of this church, I love this church but then after a year you discover all kinds of gremlins. There is a statement that speaks of the husband and wife discovering things about each other that were heretofore unknown. Things come out that they didn’t know each other. As we get to know each other in church fellowship, things are brought to attention of each other that we didn’t’ know about.

Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.  11 And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?  12 But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  13 But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus has a body of people who are his body. Why are they close to him? Why are they part of him? Because he has come to heal and recover sinners. They are sick. Until we come into close proximity to Jesus, we don’t know how sick we really are. However, when the light of Jesus Christ shines upon us, then we see more clearly than ever before the wrongs and evils of the past. David said his sins are always before him. Even though he had been forgiven, the light of Jesus illuminated his sinfulness. Is that a reason for us to become distracted and to fall into dangerous interaction and dislike to one another?

When we gather around Jesus, who are we in company with? Maggots and worms that are being transformed. How important to understand this principle. As we dwell now in these last moments of earth’s history, we ready that now in the time of the judgement; God is revealing to us the things that mar our life. God has a photograph of every man’s life and there are recorded things in our character that we would have done if we had opportunity. In other words, the opportunity hasn’t arisen therefore we don’t know if we would have done it.

God reveals to us the very things that mar our life and our character and he calls upon us to repent and turn from those things. The intensity of the times in which we are living in Gods church in the last days, is that we are going to be made aware of things that we never dreamed we would do and yet they are part of me. How unconscious are these marring characteristics brought to the surface? By Gods orchestration in his church. In the theatre where his experiments are being enacted. The disease from the soul of the foot to the crown of the head are putrefying sores.

No one knows they are there, only God knows. In the hospital, they are brought to the surface. They are brought about by people interrelating with each other. These interactions bring reactions with each other into play. Thereby we discover the hidden things in our nature. If we wouldn’t be in the church, it wouldn’t happen. We would go on in our ignorance but in Gods church the things that mar my life are revealed. God is doing merciful experiments in his church. Instead of falling back in disdain about yourself, saying what, am I so terrible? Instead of reacting like that, grasp the opportunity. The moment something is revealed in your life say thank you God you’ve just revealed an erring part of me that I need to confess. If I don’t repent, if I don’t deal with it, it will mar my life and I won’t have any place in heaven. We are in the theatre of God’s grace. We can’t go on with those defects. They need to be brought to the surface. They need to be seen and recognised as living problems, they need to be confessed.

Faults

As you see faults coming to the surface in your brothers and sisters in this process, the natural man says ah and capitalises on their faults to make their own faults not seem so bad. Because we understand what god is doing, we must not capitalise on someone else’s faults as they come to the surface. To even comment on them, to judge and say fancy that person doing that. I thought they were meant to be members of the church.

Jesus the physician has come to help us. Those who look upon the church as a whole and say those poor people, they are lost. Those who are in the church are there for God to reveal their faults. Just because I can see the errors of others, it gives me no right to hone in on them at all. I am to be as merciful to others as God is to me. The fact is that these things are happening because God is at work in the church.

The operation of God is painful enough as it is for each individual but then to be judged, commented on or spoken about makes the whole things twice as painful. Why should we inflict pain upon one another? If you’re in hospital and you’re writhing in pain and someone comes along and jabs you, it doesn’t make sense but that is what people do in the church to each other. The fester is being dealt with by God and someone comes along and jabs it. That is what we do when we comment on faults. To treat each other as patients in the hospital with compassion and understanding.

Heaven is full of rejoicing when the members of the human family are seen to be full of compassion for one another, loving one another as Christ has loved them. The church is God’s fortress, his city of refuge, which he holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of her sacred trust is treachery to him who has bought her with the precious blood of his only begotten Son. {PH154 18.2}

As you ponder this, the lord can do wonderful things for us. There will never be anytime pointing the finger at each other as we are very conscious of our own sins. There will never be any ridicule upon another brother or sister for their character defects, for their past sins. We will treat each other with love and compassion as its written;

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:  9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

As someone acts negatively because of their fault, instead of railing back, blessing. This is so natural when we interact and someone’s error is coming to the surface and they react and they discover oh what I have done. Some people don’t realise when someone does something wrong we have to tell them but they have already realised what they have done wrong. Just rest and let God work.

As they come to the surface, take the opportunity and deal with it yourself and no one else needs to deal with it. Have compassion and when there is an outburst of a faulty characteristic, instead of commenting, bless. By blessing we can enhance the wonderful practicality of Gods work in his church.

The divine Teacher bears with the erring through all their perversity. His love does not grow cold; His efforts to win them do not cease. With outstretched arms He waits to welcome again and again the erring, the rebellious, and even the apostate. His heart is touched with the helplessness of the little child subject to rough usage. The cry of human suffering never reaches His ear in vain. Though all are precious in His sight, the rough, sullen, stubborn dispositions draw most heavily upon His sympathy and love; for He traces from cause to effect. The one who is most easily tempted, and is most inclined to err, is the special object of His solicitude. {Ed 294.2}

The church of Christ, enfeebled, defective as she may appear, is the one object on earth upon which he bestows, in a special sense, his love and his regard. {PH154 18.2}

The person within the church who is most easily tempted and inclined to err is the special object of his solicitude.

Under the education and discipline of the Holy Spirit, the children of God love one another, truly, sincerely, unaffectedly–“without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” And this because the heart is in love with Jesus. Our affection for one another springs from our common relation to God. We are one family, we love one another as He loved us. When compared with this true, sanctified, disciplined affection, the shallow courtesy of the world, the meaningless expressions of effusive friendship, are as chaff to the wheat (Letter 63, 1896). {5BC 1140.3}

What is our common relation to God? We are all sinners, we are all erring and he in love is patiently dealing with me. Then when I see my brother or sister in a fault, my common relation brings my brothers and sisters into a wonderful comradeship because look at us all struggling and failing until God brings us over the ground of character perfection.

How many times have you made the same mistake until you finally learnt? We are to be patient with one another as we are one family. We are to love one another has he loved us. While we were yet sinners, he died for us. We must say, this person is a sinner and until he repents I’ll rebuff him.

Jesus, who died for us, loves us with a love that is infinite; and we must love one another. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 9}

We must love one another because the sin of another is a natural condition.

Do we ever give in and stop having a go at each other?

How we hurt and wound one another when we should love as Christ has loved us. Let us make a complete change. Let us cultivate the precious plant of love, and delight to help one another. We must be kind, forbearing, patient with one another’s errors; we must keep our sharp criticisms for ourselves, but hope all things, believe all things, of our brethren. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 9}

We want to be the church triumphant? This is the call. The only way we can be triumphant is to make opportunity of the things that mar my life and repent and deal with it quickly and to bear one another in compassion. If we practise this, we will have a perfect church as there will be no more sharp criticisms, no more relentless unkindness. As a person’s faulty characteristics show up, we bless as Jesus did. This is the call of the Lord for us in these last moments of earth’s history. God grant us the inspiration in our hearts to make that a reality.

Amen.

Posted on September 13, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes, The Church of God, The Hospital and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. please send a complete sermons to me. thank you. GBU

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